Anal gential wart (also known as venereal gential wart, anal gential warts and condylomata acuminata) are external symptoms of infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV). hpv is a family of viruses with more than 100 strains, the symptoms of which include anal gential warts, genital anal warts, common warts on hands, and plantar warts on feet.
The American Social Health Association reports the number of Americans with at least one form of sexually transmitted hpv at more than 20 million, with approximately 5.5 million new cases every year, making it the most prevalent and rapidly spreading sexually transmitted disease in the country.
Anal Gential Warts symptoms
It is important to note that many individuals infected with HPV do not have outward signs, and may not know they are infected. Results from a study conducted by the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases indicate that as many as 50% of women infected with HPV do not show outward symptoms and are unaware that they are infected. This is a considerable factor in the rapid spread of the virus.
When anal gential warts do appear, they can range in size from very tiny bumps to large cauliflower-shaped growths. anal warts which occur outside the rectum are called perianal, those which occur inside the rectum are called intra-anal and effect the lower inch or two of the rectum.
While pain is generally not associated with anal gential warts, occasionally minor bleeding will result from anal sex or bowel movements. Left untreated, anal warts may result in bowel obstruction.
Gential anal warts are highly contagious and transmission most often results from direct contact, usually sexual in nature, with an infected individual. It is estimated that two thirds of people having sexual contact with infected individuals will develop genital or anal warts within three months.
While common gential warts that appear on the hands and feet are forms of HPV, they are not the same strain of HPV virus that causes anal warts. Contact with an individual inter-mittently affected by common warts will not result in venereal gential wart transmission, unless the individual also carries a venereal wart strain of the HPV virus.
Detection and Diagnosis of Anal Warts
Because HPV is not a systemic infection, that is, it exists only in the skin cells, there is no blood test to detect it. Medical personnel will typically identify an anal wart infection by visually inspecting the suspected area, sometimes with a magnifying glass, to verify the presence of warts. Sometimes vinegar is applied to the skin to cause infected tissues to turn white, and render them more easily perceptible.
Anal Wart Treatment
Gential anal warts are the outward symptoms of a viral infection which may persist indefinitely in the tissues around the affected area. Treatments are intended to remove the warts so as to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus to others, as well as to eliminate any physical or psychological discomfort associated with anal warts. Removal of warts, however, is not necessarily a cure. As long as the virus is present, anal warts may recur and require additional treatment.
Various treatments are currently recommended by physicians to remove anal warts. Anal wart treatment s include, but are not limited to, topical chemical solutions, topical anti-viral solutions, immunotherapy, cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen), surgical removal, and electrosurgery.
Coping with anal warts
Most people are very upset to discover they have contracted a sexually transmitted form of HPV. Gathering as much information about the virus as possible and seeking out support groups can be very helpful in coming to terms with the situation and moving for-wardto a happy, healthy life.
Protection against anal warts
Abstaining from sex with individuals infected with warts or HPV is the best way to avoid contracting the virus or passing it on to a sexual partner. Obviously this is not always practical advice. Since the infection is not always apparent, and because committed partners may decide the risk of passing HPV is outweighed by the benefits of initiating a sexual relationship, use of a condom or dental dam (female sexual barrier device) is recommended for any and all sexual activity. This precaution does not ensure safety from infection, as the virus may be present in skin surrounding the genitals, and therefore notcovered by the barrier.
Note: This information is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you suspect you have venereal warts or anal warts, consult a physician.